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Four reasons we should all learn about Green Careers (+ some top job hunting tips!)

Joe Simms, Louise Krupski, Bilvalyn Asamoah all talking at the Green Careers Day at Goldsmiths.

Councillor Louise Krupski, Deputy Mayor of Lewisham and responsible for the Environment, Transport and Climate Action in the Borough, offers this top tip to the schools who are attending a Green Careers’ Event at Goldsmiths. She urges everyone to find out the real truth about what is going on with the environment. She says, ‘There’s a backlash at the moment against climate activism, but let’s be in no doubt, we face a climate emergency, and one way of addressing it is by getting as many young people as we can involved in green careers.’

Her belief in the importance of green careers is echoed by other people on the panel, who include the new Young Mayor of Lewisham, Bilvilyn Asamoah,13, Joe Simms from RAFT, a social enterprise which retro-fits housing so it’s environmentally friendly, and performance poet and youth advocate Laila Sumpton. The panel is the culmination of a day where pupils and teachers at schools local to Goldsmiths, academics, museums, business people, and local government workers have come together to explore and learn about what green careers involve. There are a number of lessons we all learned throughout the day. Here’s my summing up of them.

Many careers now have a green element

Marta Martinez, the Head of Business Decarbonisation at West London Business, where she manages the Green Business Action programme, gave an engaging keynote speech about the work she does with small businesses to decarbonise their work. She pointed out that there are many careers now that had to have a green element. She cited as a great example, a small fashion business, who sourced materials from the leading fashion brands so that their ‘cast-offs’ didn’t go to waste. She pointed out that every business needs to consider how they use their energy efficiently, how they might cut the environmental impact of their supply chain, how they might encourage their employees to travel to and from work sustainability.

Other speakers during the day amplified upon this point. Carole Destre, the Climate & Ecological Coordinator at Horniman Museum and Gardens, spoke powerfully about the work she does so that museum considers how its energy use might be decarbonised to save the environment and costs, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. She emphasized the importance of collaboration, saying: ‘I cannot achieve anything by myself in my role and the goals are only achievable if every one else in their respective position plays ball and puts in place the changes needed.  At every level. So as Marta said every career could be green, the light green, pending on the choices we make.’

Joe Simms at RAFT enumerated the skills shortage that there is in the construction industry because not enough people are qualified to ‘retro-fit’ housing with more energy efficient heating systems and insulation.

Laila Sumpton pointed out that everyone in the arts and culture sector has to consider the climate emergency in the work they do in some way or other because it’s such a burning issue on many levels: politically, culturally, financially and, of course, environmentally.

Green careers are a positive way forward

What was fascinating about the day was the way in which the day was a really positive experience. Everyone came together to share their expertise and problem-solve. As Marta had pointed out, one of the problems about the climate debate is that it causes a great deal of anxiety amongst people, and this switches them off actually doing anything. But at this Green Careers Day, there were a lot of solutions which involve helping young people understand the  opportunities that there are to problem-solve. Laila asked everyone to think about what activism involves and how they might get involved in changing the world for the better, even on a small level.

The Young Mayor Bilvalyn also spoke very eloquently about the need for young people to do the so-called ‘small’ things right: to pick up litter, to avoid getting into fights, to be kind to other people and themselves. In such a way, she outlined the values and aims of working with a green mindset: ultimately it’s about being kind to yourself and the environment.

All our homes, places of work and outdoor spaces need a green re-think

Laila Sumpton lead an interactive workshop about the Parklife Project I have been the principal investigator of for the last three years. We have learnt during this project that getting young people to use creative methods to research their local parks has been particularly effective. We’ve encouraged them to write poems, draw pictures, take photographs and make films about their local parks in order to learn more about them, and consider how they might be improved. Laila asked one workshop group from Forest Hill school, 13-14 year olds, to write ‘recipe’ poems about the park. Here’s is one of the poems written on the grid Laila devised for the session:

As you can see the poem advocates for there to be more activities in the park, such as basketball, a skate park, a café, shade and trees, a kid’s playground, and air conditioned shelters. The aim here was to get young people creatively devising their own visions of how a new future might work, re-envisioning their local green spaces.

Tania Jennings, the Net Zero Carbon Manager at Lewisham,  helpfully noted that ‘green means clean’, and listed this key issues that we as a society must address:

  • Electric heating, not gas boilers
  • Locally grown food, not global agriculture
  • Natural fibre insulation, not petroleum-based
  • Renewable energy, not coal and oil
  • Electric cars & active travel, not petrol cars
  • Circular Economy, not single use & trash

All of this means re-thinking where we live, work and play. Green careers will play a major role in reshaping how we live, work and play in lots of different ways.


Green careers are a growth area

Tania Jennings pointed out that over one in ten Londoners will work in the green sector in 2050, listing these jobs as being needed:

  • Electrical Vehicle Technician –Maintains & Manages EV Parts & Charging Stations
  • Renewable Energy Installer –Installs and maintains Solar PV, Wind, and Wave technology
  • Environmental Engineer –Developing Efficient & Cost Saving Renewable Technologies
  • Waste Worker –Keeping Our Communities Clean & Safe from Harmful Waste
  • Urban Planner –Designing Better Spaces for our Towns/Cities
  • Landscape Artist –Installing Green Walls to Buildings to Help Improve Air Quality
  • Conservation Officer –Preserves & Cares for Natural Habitats
  • Greywater Engineer –Designs Water recycling systems for buildings, including homes
  • Retrofit Coordinator –Manages Retrofit projects from Assessment to completion
  • Sustainable Fashion Designer –Uses recycled and locally produced fabrics
  • Sustainable Delivery –Uses Cargo Bikes or Electric Vehicles to deliver materials
  • Sustainable Farming –Includes urban farming, reducing the embodied carbon in food growth


Throughout the day, we learnt about how all of our major work sectors, from the arts/culture, education to business and construction all will need to embrace a green mindset, with many jobs involving people considering how to reduce our carbon footprint in sustainable, creative and exciting ways.

Dr Francis Gilbert, Head of Mas in Educational Studies, MA Creative Writing and Education, Academic Co-Director of the Connected Curriculum and Principal Investigator on the Parklife Project, Goldsmiths University.


Huge thanks to the participating schools (Forest Hill and Christ the King), Victoria Willis, Schools Climate Network Co-ordinator at Lewisham, Megan Bastable of the Widening Participation Team at Goldsmiths, and Eleanor Hamblen, Schools’ Learning Officer, for organising and running this day so well.



Elena Draganova, Employment and Training Advisor at Lewisham Council, ran a successful CV writing workshop on the Green Careers Day, offering this advice.

Top tips & links for getting ahead in the jobs market

Job Searching:

Student Work: Save the Student – Guides and resources specifically for students looking for part-time or summer jobs.

E4S ( – Connects students with employers in various sectors. – For those interested in hospitality careers.

Milkround ( – Focuses on graduate jobs and internships.

Indeed ( – General job search engine with a wide range of opportunities.


Crafting a Great CV:

Free CV Builders:

Canva (Free CV Maker: Create professional CVs online – Canva) – Easy-to-use platform with creative templates.

Reed ( – Build a professional CV with expert guidance.

CV-Library ( – Streamline the CV creation process.


CV Writing Video Tutorial: YouTube – A helpful video guide to walk them through writing a strong CV.

Job Profile Exploration:

Prospects ( – Explore different career paths and learn about specific job roles.

Bonus Resource:

Barclays Life Skills ( – Free online programme offering resources on employability and financial education.


Devised by Elena Draganova

Employment & Training Advisor

Economy, Jobs and Skills Team | Lewisham Council


Four reasons why we have a Connected Curriculum at Goldsmiths

What is the Goldsmiths’ Connected Curriculum?

The Connected Curriculum is a series of interconnected modules which undergraduates across the university take during their first and second years.
During the first year, undergraduates from Departments which have opted into the Connected Curriculum take two modules:

• Identity, Agency and Environment 1: Everything is a Text, which focuses upon developing critical thinking skills by learning about how everything around us can be interpreted and analysed
• Identity, Agency and Environment 2: Researching our World and Lives, which focuses upon students learning research skills by learning about the environment and climate change

During the second year, students take an Elective module, where they can choose from a whole selection of different modules across the university, and also work in small groups on the Goldsmiths’ Project in order to tackle a social, intellectual or environmental problem.
The diagram below shows how it is structured:

The Connected Curriculum brings together students from across the university

There are a lot of reasons for instituting the Connected Curriculum, but a central one is to bring together students from across the whole university to engage in systematic, engaged conversations about their own learning and the learning more generally at the university. In the Connected Curriculum, there is a focus upon getting students to teach each other what they know and understand of the world, and to listen to other students’ opinions mindfully and in an emotionally literate fashion. This not only helps generate vital employability skills, but also widens minds to embrace learning beyond specific subject disciplines. So far, students have taken part in some amazing discussions in the first module, Identity, Agency and Environment 1: Everything is a Text. They’ve considered their own thoughts and feelings about being at university, talked about feminism, the importance of social action in the face of oppression, decolonising the curriculum, the role of Artificial Intelligence in the contemporary world.

To impart shared Goldsmiths’ values and concepts

The Connected Curriculum is a place where Goldsmiths can impart the values and concepts its learning community believes in, not least its commitment to interdisciplinary learning. Staff and students have the opportunity to examine their own subject discipline in depth and relate it to wider learning and research. Significantly, academics from across the university share their research and suggest ways in which it is relevant to everyone. In the first module, this has provided students with a dazzling array of lectures, where they’ve heard from experts on contemporary art critiquing Damien Hirst’s famous diamond studded skull, people’s histories about the New Cross Fire, analysis of the film Barbie and Marxist analysis of cultural hegemony and much else. After listening to these lectures, students have unpacked these lectures, and related the content to their own concerns and disciplines, developing their critical thinking skills in the process. The point here is that they’ve been challenged to think differently about the world and to hone their own informed, analytical opinions about it. This approach creates new ways of thinking and innovative ideas, much of which we’ve seen in evidence in the seminars.

To encourage innovation in assessment

An innovative form of assessment has been developed for the Connected Curriculum whereby students can submit different forms of assessment for the module. They can submit:

• 1,000 word academic research project
• Or: 3-5 minutes of produced audio
• Or: edited song/music of 3 mins
• Or: a concept map consisting of images and words (approx. 500 words)
• Or: a poster aimed at a specific audience, consisting of images, diagrams and 250 words
• Or: a blog post of 750 words which could include original images, video clips, diagrams
• Or: 5-minute video (appropriately edited)
• Or: designed newsletter; leaflet/information sheet of 750 words + appropriate pictures/diagrams.
• Or: negotiated practical project with annotation of 500 words

The point here is that in the modern world, sometimes it is more important to be able to concisely and critically present information in multimodal forms (film, audio, photos/pictures etc) than it is to write an academic essay. Students have the choice, and can choose the assessment form that works best for them, working closely with their wonderful seminar tutors who have been trained to teach this assessment approach. Recently, the university has become an Adobe Campus, and is working closely with Adobe, the IT department and the library to deliver additional training sessions for using Adobe for the Connected Curriculum assessments. The college has recently appointed an Adobe Digital Skills Evangelist who will also assist considerably with this training.

To promote vital shared skills and content

The Connected Curriculum has been very carefully planned so that students achieve certain learning outcomes. These are outcomes which speak directly to the students.
These are the learning outcomes for Identity, Agency and Environment 1: ‘Everything is a Text’
When you complete the module, you should be able to:
1 Engage critically with different theories of texts and account for the role of text in social worlds
2 Apply textual analysis to contemporary cultural debates
3 Collate evidence to support your ideas and arguments about a topic of your choice
4 Organize and structure an engaging presentation of your ideas in your own text
5 Reflect upon how your work in the module relates to your own aspirations and learning

For Identity, Agency and Environment 2: ‘Researching our World and Lives’ they are:

When you complete the module, you should be able to:
1 Investigate and critically evaluate effective sources of evidence to inform your research.
2 Demonstrate that you can reference your research appropriately, accurately & academically.
3 Draw informed academic findings from your research.
4 Organise and structure an engaging, academic presentation of your research.
5 Apply critical reflexive methods for constructive self-evaluation, and how you will plan-approach your learning progression.

These learning outcomes are ones which the university has agreed are core skills and approaches that students should learn in their first year of the university. The benefit of learning these skills in an inter-disciplinary module is that students develop their ability to understand their subjects in wider contexts but also communicate their learning to an eclectic community.

Why should the New Cross Fire be explored in Goldsmiths’ Connected Curriculum?

An exhibition Dr John Price helped run earlier this year.

It is 9am in the Ian Gulland Lecture in Goldsmiths on dark Wednesday morning. Hundreds of students are listening to the historian John Price talk about his research into the New Cross Fire. I’m at the back, gauging the atmosphere of the cohort.

It is a spine-tingling moment. An important moment. Because despite the fact that it’s quite early in the morning and we are a little chilled from the inclement weather, we are all utterly engrossed. Dr Price, or John as he prefers to be called by everyone at Goldsmiths, is explaining how and why the New Cross Fire was – and continues to be — a tragedy every student at Goldsmiths should know about. Indeed, a tragedy the whole nation should learn about. It happened just a few minutes walk from the Ian Gulland, forty-two years ago. As John explains, all of the people who died in the fire were younger than the students sitting before him, so young. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion: it was a joint party celebration for Yvonne Ruddock and Angela Jackson and was held at 439 New Cross Road on Sunday 18, 1981. A fire started – the cause of which has never been properly discovered – leading to unspeakable horror and tragedy: 13 young people died. The trauma of the incident still ricochets amongst the community.

There is a hush in the lecture theatre. John has already said that if anyone finds the material too upsetting, then they are free to leave the lecture theatre. His approach is profoundly emotionally literate. It connects with what I have already lectured about in previous weeks: the role that emotion plays in learning. We all need to be emotionally receptive to learning. It can help if a learner is aware or mindful of how they are feeling about their learning because there are emotional states where learning best happens, ‘flow’ states, where you are calm but alert.

Everyone seemed to be in this flow state in John’s lecture for a number of reasons. They were gripped by the subject matter and John’s profound knowledge of it. They understood the importance of understanding the tragedy and the lessons that can be learned from it. While much has been said about the causes of the New Cross Fire, John’s approach was to look at the people involved and affected by it, examining in particular the institutional structures which led to multiple miscarriages of justice. He highlighted the police’s automatic assumptions which led to them missing vital evidence and outrageously arresting the traumatised survivors, questioning them for hours and extracting statements under duress. He talked about the first inquest into the fire in 1981, where the coroner, going against prescribed practice, took absolutely no notes. Not one. He drew chilling parallels between the Grenfall tragedy and the New Cross Fire. Has anything changed? The institutional racism still seems to be there as recent reports such as the Casey report show.

This lecture was part of the first module (Identity, Environment and Agency 1: Everything is a Text) of the Connected Curriculum, which commenced this year (September 2023) at Goldsmiths. The aim of the Connected Curriculum is to bring first year undergraduates across the university (from many different subjects) to learn skills and content which Goldsmiths, as an institution, values. With this first module, the focus is upon helping students become critical thinkers and see the whole of life as a series of texts that can be unpacked through deep thinking and searching debate. Each week a lecturer from the university explores a text of their choice, which is always Goldsmiths related. For the first week, Dr Caroline Kennedy the convenor of this module, and academic co-director of the Connected Curriculum along with myself, gave a thrilling lecture on Goldsmiths’ alumni Damien Hirst’s diamond skull For the Love of God. How brilliant is that? A skull can be a text! Caroline’s lecture was revelatory, questioning, and always engaging.

For the next two weeks, I lectured upon alumni Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, looking at the ways in which she explores intersectionality in her Booker-Prize winning novel, and Les Back’s Letter to a New Student, where he gives advice to a new student starting at university. The aim of these lectures was to outline the sorts of habits of learning which can really aid any undergraduate’s study: mindful listening, emotional literacy, freewriting, concept mapping, and reciprocal teaching. Don’t worry if you don’t know what these terms mean, I intend to blog about them in the future!

This was followed by Sarah Ewing’s exploration of decolonising the curriculum, which showed that much of what we think of as unbiased knowledge is actually shaped by our violent, biased colonial past. Her lecture was followed by John’s on the New Cross Fire. A common theme emerged across all the lectures: the need for all of us to become critical thinking, to question so-called common sense and prejudices.

After each lecture, the students discuss the issues in seminars led by our fantastic tutor team, honing their critical thinking skills. All the tutors reported having amazing discussions about John’s lecture: it was an intense and emotional experience to listen together about this tragedy, and then have a chance to unpick what actually happened and dialogue about the vital issues. This is what the Connected Curriculum is all about; all of us at the university learning together, figuring new ways of thinking about old problems, and considering innovative lines of inquiry which could spark and mobilise change for the better.